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Jeff working the breaks in the Tour of California (foto by Tim de Waele)
Jeff working the breaks in the Tour of California (foto by Tim de Waele)

Louder spends another long day in the break

20. February 2009

Paso Robles

With Jeff Louder in a promising break much of the stage, the BMC Racing Team felt confident that some serious chances for success would arise as the day unfolded.

However, within a 20 kilometer period, Louder would be disconnected from the break and an unexpected split in the peloton would find all BMC members on the wrong side of the chasm.  The resulting loss of time removes the team's hopes for a top 20 finish, though with two difficult road stages left, there is every expectation that a stage victory is still possible.

The Longest Day

Being two men down after the rough ride Scott Nydam and Jonathan Garcia had the day before, BMC had fewer options for breakaway specialists for the remaining stages.  "I had some good luck about getting into the break today, but after the long break from two days ago, I struggled out there," Jeff Louder confessed.  Since the team lost two key players Wednesday, it was tough finding enough man power to position the protected riders while still taking the chance on winning the stage from a break.  "It just shook out that I was the guy in the break today and that is very important since we really want to show our colours at the front of the races and proudly represent BMC," Louder explained.  "I am just sorry that once I was caught again by the pack, that I wasn't able to contribute more to the positioning of our protected riders since it got very fast very quickly near the end of the stage"

Sitting too far back

In the end, the remaining members of the team were caught out by several splits in the pack which were caused by weary legs on all sides.  "It was just one of those moments when we may have been just a little inattentive and in the wrong place at the wrong time," Louder reasoned.  With five BMC riders still fighting for a strong finish on the stage, but sitting too far back in the peloton when the sprinters' teams were feverishly chasing after the remaining members of the break, gaps formed which under the day's conditions could not be closed.  "It was a windy, tight road and the guys were just a little too far back," Louder said.  "Everyone is disappointed especially since cyclists are usually their own toughest critics."  With the loss of time in the GC, the team will now need to refocus their goals for the remaining stages.  "We work too hard training not to care when we miss moves like today," Louder said.  "But now what we have to do is get over it and do better in the remaining stages."